You are probably thinking to yourself "Wait a minute. I've heard all my life that knowledge is power." I've heard the same things. But it was not until the last couple of years that I realized that statement was well intended but falls short. And it may in fact be crippling very smart people, young and old.
The truth is ... APPLIED knowledge is power. Just knowing something doesn't really change you or the world around you. You can know all day long that you should forgive that person that hurt you, but if you don't actually apply that knowledge, it does nothing to release the bitterness you feel inside.
Over the past 7 years, I have embarked on a knowledge gathering journey. I've learned a lot on this journey about what it takes to be our best, what principles reap the ripest fruit, who I am and what it means to be a follower of Christ, and the thoughts, beliefs, and actions it takes to live a life of purpose. (To see a list of the books that have poured into me, click here)
Intentionally seeking out wisdom and knowledge has grown my knowledge base 10 fold. But the question that started ringing in my head was SO WHAT. So what that you have all of this knowledge. What good is it doing idle inside of your brain and more importantly what could be possible if I actually DID some of the things I now knew?
I learned over this past season of life that how we think and our perspective on what is happening around us really controls our path forward. Principles such as success is defined as doing your best, with what you have where you are, and things don't happen to me, they happen for me, and always respond, never react are very meaningful and relevant to me.
I really identify with the peace that those perspectives provide. Those are all great things to know. And one day I got to experience the power that comes from applying that knowledge.
I had made a choice out of obligation that quickly put me in a miserable situation. The more days I was involved in that situation, the more bitter and trapped I felt. The more relied upon I was, the higher the pressure that was building up. The weight of anger and frustration I felt based on my own bad decision finally made me pop. I was defiant. I verbalized my desire (loudly) not to be in my situation, that I could not do it any longer, I had made a terrible mistake, I had let myself down, my calling down, let my guard down and made a decision that I was going to have to suffer the consequences of. It all came spilling out in front of other people. That night, I was distraught. I described it to a few friends and family as my lowest point in years.
And if you know me, that's not me. I'm the encourager. I'm the energy giver. But I was far from encouraging and nobody NEEDED or WANTED the energy I was giving off. I truly felt helpless & powerless. Yet, I had all this knowledge...
The next morning, the Lord gave me the word refresh. I had to refresh my spirit. And I had the knowledge to do it. It was time to believe things don't happen to me, they happen for me and accept the truth of that statement in this situation. It was time to respond positively to this adversity, not just react with emotion. The success of this situation is doing my best with what I have where I am. I had to APPLY the knowledge that I so eagerly sought and proudly possessed.
Over the next two days, I coached myself out of the pit using the techniques and perspectives that I had spent the last 2 years learning. The power of the knowledge was not in the knowing it, but rather the doing. I made a decision to apply what I had learned TO MYSELF and thus experience the power of applied knowledge to correct the trajectory of my life.
I am willing to put my life savings on the table over this ... You are in a situation RIGHT NOW that you KNOW how to resolve/fix/change/improve but because you won't apply what you know, you feel powerless.
I encourage you, don't waste your knowledge and remain powerless. Activate your power by applying what you know is right and wise in that situation. Prove to yourself that knowledge is not power. Applied knowledge is.